Article 43

 

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Welcome

Welcome to article43.com - a memorial to the layed off workers of (PRE SBC MERGER) AT&T, and the disappearing MIDDLE CLASS citizens of America.  It is NOT endorsed or affiliated with AT&T or the CWA in any way.

This sticky post was written the day we appeared on the internet in 2004.

In addition to INFORMATION, resources and opinion for former AT&T workers DEALING WITH the EFFECTS OF LAYOFF and looking for meaningful employment, some articles here are meant to bring into awareness the LARGER PICTURE of corporate dominance of the UNITED STATES’ political and economic policies which brazenly DISREGARDS, disrespects and EXPLOITS worker, citizen and HUMAN RIGHTS under masks like FREE TRADE and the PATRIOT ACT - resulting in a return to a society of very rich and very poor dominated by a few very rich and powerful - whose voices are anything but - for the people. If left UNCHALLENGED, the self-serving interests of those in control may result in the end of DEMOCRACY, the end of the middle class, irreversible ENVIRONMENTAL damage to the planet, and widespread global poverty brought on by exploitation and supression of the voices of common people EVERYWHERE, while the United States turns into a REINCARNATION of the ROMAN EMPIRE.  Author Thom Hartmann shares some history and outlines some basic steps to return our country to “The People” in his two articles TEN STEPS TO RETURN TO DEMOCRACY and SAVING THE MIDDLE CLASS. I support CERNIG’S idea for a new POLITICAL MOVEMENT - if not a revolution to cleanse our country of the filth ruling it - as we EVOLVE into a GLOBAL community - assuming we learn the THE LESSONS OF OUR TIME and don’t DESTROY CIVILIZATION first.

Everything here can be viewed anonymously.  Inserting or commenting on articles requires a free user account (for former AT&T employees with a real, non throw-away, email address.) Requests to the new user registration page are redirected to BLOGGED DOT COM’S site because most new signups I get are from COMMENT SPAMMERS and their ilk, so if you want to contribute, contact me through email, phone, or some other way.

There’s no third-party scripts here like privacy-eroding WEB COUNTERS, hidden datamining widgets like Pay-Pal donation boxes, or AMAZON DOT COM tracking stuff.  The RSS feeds are pulled by the server, and have no relation to anything you may be doing here.  Standard Apache WEB LOGS of info like IP, and pages visited are rotated every few days, and used internally to check the web server’s performance.  Logs of suspicious activity may be shared with law enforcement, or other ISPs, to deal with troublemakers.  Nothing here is for sale, and donations are not solicited.

If you get an email that claims to be from somebody here that’s anything but a request to post your article, or report suspicious activity (like logs sent to an ISP to report an attack) - it’s SPAM. I do not, and will not - ever - join the junk mail sender community. There are no mechanisms to prevent anyone from forging anyone elses email address in a “from” or “reply-to” mail header. For those of us whose email addresses are fraudently used, the best we can do is filter out NDR REPORTS.

Per U.S.C. COPYRIGHT LAW - TITLE 17, SECTION 107, this not-for-profit site may reproduce copyrighted material not specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such articles will either have a web link to the source, home page, and/or show credit to the author.  If yours is here and you have a problem with that, send me an EMAIL, and I’ll take it off. Stuff I wrote carries a CREATIVE COMMONS LICENSE permitting non-commercial sharing. In addition, this site’s owner forbids insertion and injecting data of any kind - especially advertisements - into ours by any person or entity.  Should you see a commercial ad that looks like it’s from here, please report it by sending me a tcpdump and/or screenshot in an EMAIL, then READ UP about how the PARTNERING OF INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDERS and companies like NEBUAD are DESTROYING INTERNET PRIVACY

Resumes of layed off AT&T workers are posted for free HERE.

Information on the Pension Class Action Lawsuit against AT&T is HERE.  More pension-related articles are HERE.

Links to some Telecom companies’ career pages are HERE.

Click HERE to learn a little about Article 43 and why I loathe the CWA.
Click HERE or HERE to learn what the CWA did when given a chance to do the right thing.
Click HERE for a glimpse of undemocratic and hypocritical CWA practices.
Click HERE for an article on Corporate Unionism.
Click HERE for an article of AFL-CIO’s undemocratic history.

If you’re looking for telco nostalgia, you won’t find it here.  Check out THE CENTRAL OFFICE, BELL SYSTEM MEMORIAL, MUSEUM OF COMMUNICATIONS, TELEPHONE TRIBUTE, and THE READING WORKS websites instead.

This site can disappear anytime if I run out of money to pay for luxuries like food, health care, or internet service.

Discernment of truth is left to the reader - whose encouraged to seek as much information as possible, from as many different sources as possible - and pass them through his/her own filters - before believing anything.

...the Devil is just one man with a plan, but evil, true evil, is a collaboration of men…
- Fox Mulder, X Files

No matter how big the lie; repeat it often enough and the masses will regard it as the truth.
- John F. Kennedy

Today my country, your country and the Earth face a corporate holocaust against human and Earthly rights. I call their efforts a holocaust because when giant corporations wield human rights backed by constitutions and the law (and therefore enforced by police, the courts, and armed forces) and sanctioned by cultural norms, the rights of people, other species and the Earth are annihilated.
- Richard L. Grossman

Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.
- Albert Einstein

He who is not angry when there is just cause for anger is immoral. Why? Because anger looks to the good of justice. And if you can live amid injustice without anger, you are immoral as well as unjust.
- Aquinas

If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.
- Bishop Desmond Tutu

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
- Martin Luther King Jr

Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
- Benjamin Franklin

If we do not hang together, we will surely hang separately.
- Benjamin Franklin

We must be prepared to make heroic sacrifices for the cause of peace that we make ungrudgingly for the cause of war.
- Albert Einstein

Solidarity has always been key to political and economic advance by working families, and it is key to mastering the politics of globalization.
- Thomas Palley

As we head into the next depression, fueled by selfish corporate greed, and a corrupt, SOCIOPATHIC US government, MIKE WHITNEY wrote a solution in 2007 that makes a lot of sense to me :

The impending credit crisis cant be avoided, but it could be mitigated by taking radical steps to soften the blow. Emergency changes to the federal tax code could put more money in the hands of maxed-out consumers and keep the economy sputtering along while efforts are made to curtail the ruinous trade deficit. We should eliminate the Social Security tax for any couple making under $60, 000 per year and restore the 1953 tax-brackets for Americans highest earners so that the upper 1%-- who have benefited the most from the years of prosperity---will be required to pay 93% of all earnings above the first $1 million income. At the same time, corporate profits should be taxed at a flat 35%, while capital gains should be locked in at 35%. No loopholes. No exceptions.

Congress should initiate a program of incentives for reopening American factories and provide generous sufbsidies to rebuild US manufacturing. The emphasis should be on reestablishing a competitive market for US exports while developing the new technologies which will address the imminent problems of environmental degradation, global warming, peak oil, overpopulation, resource scarcity, disease and food production. Off-shoring of American jobs should be penalized by tariffs levied against the offending industries.

The oil and natural gas industries should be nationalized with the profits earmarked for vocational training, free college tuition, universal health care and improvements to then nations infrastructure.

Posted by Admin on 09/05/04 •

Printable viewLink to this article
Home

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Bad Moon Rising Part 78 - China 70 Years Later

image: china flag

Why Russia and China Stand Together

By Andre Vltchek
New Eastern Outlook
October 13, 2019

The capitalist world is in decay. The West is ROTTING. Anger and nihilism are pouring from the imperialist empire whose citizens are frustrated; not at peace with themselves.

Imperialist North America and Europe are furious at the countries like Venezuela and Cuba because their thinkers and leaders are exposing the terrible deterioration of values which is streaming from the neo-colonialist and historically imperialist countries.

But it is China and Russia who are AT THE FOREFRONT of spite of the Western nation and their propagandists. It is all grotesque, now. Russia which saved the world from Nazism, and which helped to decolonize dozens of nations, is now least liked country in Europe. Germany, which murdered millions of Jews, Roma, Slavs, and others, is the most liked. In the West, nobody seems to care that Germany is still plundering such nations like Venezuela while using its industrial and banking might to strip defenseless nations of their riches.

China, a mighty Communist country, (or call it a socialist country with Chinese characteristics), is being mocked and humiliated by Western propaganda. Arrogance of the European and North American indoctrinators and most of their servile pseudo-intellectuals, from the so-called center to the right, has no boundaries. Most of them are suffering from incurable superiority complexes. They feel that they have the right to judge China; to decide for it, whether it is “truly” Communist or not, and whether it is on the correct track.

China is a calm, some could even say timid nation. No matter how mighty it has become, it tries to resolve all conflicts with its self-proclaimed adversaries, harmoniously. It does not attack, and it does not provoke. Historically, it cares for the well-being of its peripheries, and even for the welfare of faraway nations. For millennia, the wisdom went like this: if the neighbors are doing well, so will do well China itself.

Chinese leaders and Chinese people are convinced that if the entire world would become prosperous, China would benefit as a result. That is the essence of the BRI (Belt and Road Initiative), which is often defined as the NEW SILK ROAD.

Of course, it is not as simple as this, but in essence, it is. New Silk Road is the flagship of the Chinese internationalism. I saw China in action, in such places as Africa and Oceania, and I have been greatly impressed. I am an anti-imperialist, and an internationalist, therefore I decisively support China!

***

Increasingly, I consider myself a Communist and an internationalist, not a Marxist. Karl Marx was a historical, European figure, a good analyst and critic of the old, early capitalist regime. He was preoccupied with mainly European system, without using much energy to attack colonialism and imperialism. In the last hundreds of years, the most horrid problem has been the Western plunder of the planet by the West. Marx did not pay much attention to it.

Countries like the Soviet Union and Peoples Republic of China, which have been defending those who are defenseless, are consistently and very professionally demonized by London, Paris, Berlin, and Washington, insanely smeared as ғequal to the fascists, while it is clear that the only honest equation could be made between the Nazism/fascism and the European and North American colonialism, or more precisely, neo-colonialist and imperialism.

While perfecting its own socialist system, China learned a lot about the mistakes made by the Soviet Union. It is not going to repeat them. Those of us who are close to the Academy of Social Sciences, or to the Chinese leading universities and media outlets, are doing our best to explain the errors committed in both Soviet Union and the so-called Eastern Block. Based on the analyses of its own past, and of other socialist countries, China is both fighting for the survival of the world, and for the improvement of the standards of living of its own people.

I like her approach; I am proud to be part of the process. And I support China with my entire heart because I know that if China falls, if it gets destroyed by the imperialist West, it would be the end of all hopes for our humanity. The West already demonstrated what it would do to the planet, if it would be allowed to continue ruling, unopposed, over the billions of lives of human beings.

United, allied, China and Russia are creating a powerful block of independent nations. Directly and indirectly, they are defending those good countries which are antagonized, brutalized, even terrorized by the West. Both nations are benefiting from working together. Now, dozens of countries on all continents are benefiting, too.

I like what I see. Hope is in the air. It is beautiful. It is full of optimism. And that is why I support; that is why I am celebrating the 70th Anniversary of the People’s Republic of China!

***

It goes without saying that China is being intimidated and provoked by almost all Western countries, as well as their client states.

Actually, attacking China is turning into the most lucrative career for both the mediocre journalist working for the mass media outlets and for the funding-starved individuals all over the world.

Reasons for these attacks are only too easy to identify: The Peoples Republic of China is clearly winning in all fields and areas, over both the imperialism and savage capitalism: ideologically, intellectually and socially.

With only a fraction of the GDP per capita (compared to the West), China is eliminating extreme poverty. Its infrastructure is now better than that in the West. Its progress in the field of ecology cannot be matched by any other part of the world. Its creativity, in the area of culture and science, is colossal. The life of the Chinese people is improving, dramatically. And, it is very hard not to notice, the lives of the people in the countries that are working with China, are getting much better, as well.

More obvious all this is becoming to the people worldwide, more horrified are getting the traditionally colonialist and imperialist countries. They cannot offer anything to the world, as their economies and cultures have been based on looting, already for many long centuries. They are unable to stop, to reform, to work for saving the world. And so, all they can do in order to ensure that the status quo prevails is to smear China and Russia; two determined sisters that are working relentlessly for a much better planet.

For decades, China tried to compromise, to appease the West. It has been doing everything possible and impossible to avoid direct or indirect conflict. Only recently, it realized that the only outcome the West would accept would be if China would kneel, surrender, and give up its ғSocialism with the Chinese characteristics system.

And this is unacceptable to both the government in Beijing and to the people of China.

That is why the parade on Tiananmen Square, on the October 1st, 2019. That is why the clear message to the West: Chinese system is not for sale. China is not going to bend. That is why the new weapons, designed to repel anyone who would dare to attack the PRC, have been introduced.

In Russia, they say: Those who come with the sword, from the sword will die.

China clearly understood the wisdom of this truism.

Of course, China welcomes friends with open arms. It is helping those in need. It is trying to build a better world.

But it will never again tolerate attacks, intimidations, and bare racism. In the past, it got occupied, brutalized and humiliated. Now, after 70 YEARS of tremendous leap forward, under the leadership of the Communist Party, China is confident, strong and proud.

I love this confidence. I admire what China is doing both at home and abroad.

That is why I am celebrating with the Chinese people the 70th Anniversary of their socialist motherland. That is why I am working, day and night, to show to the world all those great achievements of the most populous nation on earth.

I also believe that the union of China and Russia represents the last hope for our humanity. I witnessed the suffering of people on all continents; victims of Western imperialism. I do not buy, even for a second, the propaganda that all nations are the same and would they be strong enough, they would plunder the world with the same brutality as Europe and North America have been doing for all those centuries.

I am not too interested in reading and listening to the endless analyses of the Westerners regarding China. I am interested in what the Chinese people have to say about their country!

Now, 70 years after the Victory, the Chinese nation stands as united as ever. And the nations that have been robbed of everything, by the West, are now daring to hope, for the first time in many generations.

That is why, I am saluting the nation which is changing the world, and which, at 70, looks and feels so young, kind and full of optimism!

Andre Vltchek is philosopher, novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He’s a creator of Vltcheks World in Word and Images, and a writer that penned a number of books, including China and Ecological Civilization. He writes especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”

SOURCE

Posted by Elvis on 10/13/19 •
Section Bad Moon Rising
View (0) comment(s) or add a new one
Printable viewLink to this article
Home

Friday, October 11, 2019

Article 43 Turns 15

Article 43 turned 15 last month.

WHILE:

In the United States, the income gap between the rich and everyone else has been growing markedly, by every major statistical measure, for more than 30 years.

People say credit is a trap - and they may be right.  But for me - if not for credit - I’d be living in a box under some bridge right now.

What about SOCIETY, the jobs picture, and the long-term unemployed/underemployed?

HOW do THEY cope?

I hope BERNIE SANDERS gets to be our next President.

Of all the politicians out there - he’s the only one I think CAN HELP mobilize us all to take action to rebuild our country.

If not, I see no end to the DOWNFALL of America, and SUFFERING OF ITS PEOPLE.

Like Senator Sanders SAYS - it’s TIME FOR a AN ECONOMY THAT WORKS FOR US ALL.

Why? 

There’s 15 years worth of reading here to help figure it out.

Enjoy.

Posted by Elvis on 10/11/19 •
Section About Article 43
View (0) comment(s) or add a new one
Printable viewLink to this article
Home

What Matters

image: book: richer poorer in a traumatized world

Were told we all benefit as the super-rich get even richer, but what if the status quo only benefits those in power at the expense of everyone else - and our planet? Though we may not be politically powerful, we are far from powerless.
- Book: Will You Be Richer or Poorer?: Profit, Power and A.I. in a Traumatized World.

America 2019: Even the Wealthy Are Poorer in Everything That Matters

By Charles Hugh Smith
Of Two Minds
October 10, 2019

A good friend related a story that goes directly to the heart of whats broken in our way of life. My friend went to a reunion in Silicon Valley attended by the most successful cohort in America: super-smart, highly educated people in their mid-40s who have achieved the highest levels of professional accomplishment and built enormous financial wealth, with net worths not just in the millions but in many cases in the tens of millions of dollars.

These are people at the apex of the American economy and society, those who did everything right, worked hard and grasped the brass ring of conventional success.

Yet when the meeting broke into small groups and individuals were asked to speak briefly about their lives, more than a few people teared up and began weeping. My friend was struck by the disconnect between their tremendous success and their personal miseryof failed marriages, of being trapped in their jobs, in feeling their sacrifices weren’t worth it and in sensing the shallowness of their success and the poverty of their inner lives.

Not every super-successful person was miserable, of course; some had shifted gears to lower-paid work they found more fulfilling and others still loved their careers. But what was near-universal was the desire to get the heck out of Silicon Valley and leave its pressure-cooker lifestyle in the dust.

It takes a great deal of honesty and inner strength to admit in public that conventional success hasn’t delivered the glorious FULFILLMENT and happiness we’re scripted to expect.

Ours is a culture of forced optimism.The scripts of forced optimism are repeated daily in endless loops: the “fix” for misery is gratitude (hence everyone interviewed after a “win” must express gratitude and humility) and a menu of self-help tricks: mindfulness, better management of our productivity, etc., in a near-infinite profusion of “5 things you can do to improve your life” lists that gush out of America’s prodigious self-help industry.

All of this is intended to obscure the reality that even the wealthy are poorer in everything that really matters. We measure “wealth” in financial terms, but as the super-successful and super-wealthy discover, financial wealth doesn’t translate into well-being, fulfilling relationships, agency, health or the other forms of intangible capital that make up real wealth.

I’ve just completed a book that explores these topics in depth: Will You Be Richer or Poorer?: Profit, Power and A.I. in a Traumatized World.

The book also examines the constantly hyped faith that technology will inevitably make us all richer, the implicit premise being that every technological advance is automatically making our lives better in every way, every day.

A corollary of this forced technology optimism is that robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) will inevitably generate trillions of dollars in profits that will enable us all to 1) quit working because robots will do all our work and 2) draw a substantial monthly dividend from this endless gusher of tech-generated profits.

Nice, except every one of these assumptions is demonstrably baseless. AI might enrich the few who own the platforms and monopolies, but even that is unlikely, given that these technologies are rapidly being commoditized.

These are difficult dynamics to understand, but if we want to become wealthier in meaningful ways (including sustainable financial wealth), we have to understand these concepts at the deepest level. If it was possible to explain these complex realities in a 200-word list of 5 easy tips, I would, but alas, it took 38,000 words just to manage a modestly comprehensive overview.

As all the costs we don’t even measure pile up, were all getting poorer whether we are able to admit it or not. A society / economy that’s fragmenting and failing is not making us all richer, despite the signaling device of a rising stock market and gamed statistics (unemployment at a 50-year low, etc.).

This book is also the result of my personal journey through burnout, a topic I discussed earlier this year in Burnout Nation. The price were paying to keep our heads above water steepens while the pay-off is dropping off a cliff. While we’re constantly told to focus on the rising value of our stocks and homes (if we have any meaningful equity in either one, which many do not), our well-being, health, social mobility, agency, trust in institutions, non-financial capital and security are all declining.

Burnout forces us to re-assess costs, sacrifices and pay-offs in a wrenching reckoning that can no longer be put off. The recession that is slowly but surely unfolding will increase the stress on many of us, and force all sorts of personal reckonings on people who have spent years avoiding just such a reckoning.

My goal in writing this book was to help everyone going through a personal reckoning understand the impoverishment meted out by our broken socio-economic system, an impoverishment that may be invisible even as we sense it weighing more heavily on us every day.

How do we turn around this decline in everything that matters? The first step is to recognize and measure all forms of capital, tangible and intangible alike, and make a personal balance sheet of all the forms of capital we own or have access to, and prioritize which ones are the most important to us.

There’s much more in the book. Please take a look at the FIRST SECTION for free (PDF). There’s a 15% discount on both the digital and print editions through the month of October.

A note of thanks to those who buy the book: As an independent writer, book sales are a substantial part of my livelihood. I receive no funding from any trust fund, university, philanthro-capitalist foundation, think-tank, shadowy C.I.A. front, media giant or government agency.

SOURCE

Posted by Elvis on 10/11/19 •
Section Revelations • Section Dying America
View (0) comment(s) or add a new one
Printable viewLink to this article
Home

Solutions to Save Our Nation II

image: 99 percent

In the 1930s the New Deal put construction workers on the job building infrastructure we have used ever since. Much of that network is at the end of its life, so lets do it again, but this time with “green” planning built in.

Roosevelt proposed to recruit thousands of unemployed young men, enlist them in a peacetime army, and send them to battle the erosion and destruction of the nation’s natural resources.

Roosevelt’s Tree Army, was credited with renewing the nations decimated forests by planting an estimated three billion trees from 1933 to 1942.

In the 1930s white collar workers with college degrees were unemployed. The New Deal hired many of them into the regulatory bodies it set up to control the worst excesses of capitalism and to regulate private industry.

- New Deal 2.0

---

THE NEXT SYSTEM PROJECT is an initiative of The Democracy Collaborative aimed at bold thinking and action to address the systemic challenges the United States faces now and in coming decades.

Deep crises of economic inequality, racial injustice and climate change - to name but three - are upon us, and systemic problems require systemic solutions. Working with a broad group of researchers, theorists and activists, we are using the best research, understanding and strategic thinking, on the one hand, and on-the-ground organizing and development experience, on the other, to promote visions, models and pathways that point to a next system, radically different in fundamental ways from the failed systems of the past and present and capable of delivering superior social, economic and ecological outcomes.

SOURCE

---

Richard Wolff on Curing Capitalism

Bill Moyers
March 22, 2013

Richard Wolffs smart, blunt talk about the crisis of capitalism on his first Moyers & Company appearance was so compelling and provocative, we asked him to return. This time, the economics expert answers questions sent in by our viewers, diving further into economic inequality, the limitations of industry regulation, and the widening gap between a booming stock market and a population that increasingly lives in poverty.

“We ought to have much more democratic enterprise,” Wolff tells Bill, in response to a question from a viewer in Oklahoma. ҔWe ought to have stores, factories and offices in which all the people who have to live with the results of what happens to that enterprise participate in deciding how it works.

Addressing a question about capitalism and climate change, Wolff says, “Capitalism is a system geared up to doing three things on the part of business: get more profits, grow your company and get a larger market share If along the way they have to sacrifice either the well-being of their workers or the well-being of the planet or the environmental conditions, they may feel very bad about it - and I know plenty who do but they have no choice.”

Wolff taught economics for 35 years at the University of Massachusetts and is now visiting professor at The New School University in New York City. His books include Democracy at Work: A Cure for Capitalism and Capitalism Hits the Fan: The Global Economic Meltdown and What to Do About It.

Transcript

BILL MOYERS: It’s not only our banking system that remains questionable and shaky - its the whole of our economy - that complex mix master of capital and labor, prices and production, goods and services, rewards and punishments, largely driven by private decisions in what has been defined, mythologically, as the “free market.” Which brings us back to Richard Wolff. I say “back” because as many of you will recall, this provocative and imaginative economist was here just about a month ago to lay out, in his words, how CAPITALISM HAS HIT THE FAN. Heres the centerpiece of his argument:

RICHARD WOLFF on Moyers & Company: For the majority of people, capitalism is not delivering the goods. It is delivering, arguably, the bads. And so we have this disparity getting wider and wider between those for whom capitalism continues to deliver the goods by all means, but a growing majority in this society which isn’t getting the benefit, is in fact, facing harder and harder times. And that’s what provokes some of us to begin to say its a systemic problem.

BILL MOYERS: My conversation with Richard Wolff opened such a world of ideas that on the spot I asked him to return - and I asked you to send us the questions youd like to put to him. Your response was as overwhelming as it was smart and informed. Just take a look at some of the letters we printed out from our website, billmoyers.com. Thanks to everyone who wrote. We’ll get to some of these in just a minute and to even more of them with Richard Wolff in a live chat next Tuesday at our website, billmoyers.com.

Richard Wolff taught economics for 35 years at the University of Massachusetts and is now a visiting professor at the New School University here in New York City teaching a special course on the economic meltdown. His books include Democracy at Work: A Cure for Capitalism and Capitalism Hits the Fan: The Global Economic Meltdown and What to Do About It. Welcome back, Richard.

RICHARD WOLFF: Thank you Bill.

BILL MOYERS: Let’s move on to questions from the viewers who tuned into our conversation three weeks ago, hundreds of them responded.

Here֒s Michael from Tulsa, Oklahoma.

MICHAEL: Professor Wolff, what can we as individuals in communities do to regain control of our economic destiny?

RICHARD WOLFF: We have an old tradition in the United States of doing things in a cooperative way. We celebrate it with phrases like team spirit or team effort. It’s the idea that a project will be better done if everybody has an equal stake and an equal say in the decisions that will determine the outcome. I like that idea, I believe it has a lot to do with our commitment to democracy.

So my answer to the question is we ought to have much more democratic enterprise. We ought to have stores, factories and offices in which all the people who have to live with the results of what happens to that enterprise participate in deciding how it works.

BILL MOYERS: That’s the subject of your book, “Democracy At Work: A Cure for Capitalism.” And we will come back to it in a few minutes. Here is Jose from Naples, Florida and Kristin from Joplin, Missouri.

JOSE: Professor Wolff. On the last show you mentioned how you were against regulation. I agree with you on the most part that regulation has been a failure. What would be your alternative to regulation?

KRISTIN: Without regulation how do we respond to widening economic disparity in our society?

BILL MOYERS: You said last time you were skeptical about regulation because the regulated found ways to evade, overcome or negate it.

RICHARD WOLFF: Yes, skepticism is the politest way I know how to say this. I think that we have now learned in our society that regulating big corporations and regulating wealthy folks is an exercise in futility. It’ll work for a while, but those folks have the incentive and the resources to work around it, to evade them.

BILL MOYERS: The hearings last week. JPMorgan--

RICHARD WOLFF: Morgan, yeah.

BILL MOYERS: --Chase continuing to--

RICHARD WOLFF: Stunning.

BILL MOYERS: --take these risks.

RICHARD WOLFF: Stunning. It’s as if the whole meltdown of 2008 and ‘09 hadn’t happened, as if all the risk-taking can continue and all the massaging of the internal rules of the banks can be manipulated, all of that. It seems to me we’ve learned the lesson that regulation is usually coming too late after, in a sense, the disaster has happened. And then it is evaded and avoided and watered down. It doesn’t work. And we have to learn the lesson.

So I would respond by saying, we have to make a more basic change. Instead of constantly coming too late to the regulation activity let’s change the way decisions are made so we don’t have to be constantly after people regulating them in this kind of sad effort that never quite succeeds. Let’s change the basic decisions.

BILL MOYERS: I thought Glass-Steagall worked fairly well from the time it was enacted in the depression with Roosevelt to 1999 when Bill Clinton and Congress repealed it.

RICHARD WOLFF: Well, I don’t want to get into a dispute with you, Bill. I think--

BILL MOYERS: Go right ahead, everybody else does.

RICHARD WOLFF: I think there was a long history of evasion. In other words ways were found in the ‘60s and ‘70s long before the repeal, ways were found by banks setting up investment banks, setting up new financial institutions to get around if not the letter then certainly the intent of that kind of regulation.

When it was found possible politically first to weaken Glass-Steagall and then eventually to repeal it, well, that was even better. But basically the minute the regulation was set the regulated industries took it as a problem to be solved. Then they hired the economists like me, the accountants, the lawyers and all the other specialists to figure out how to get around it.

BILL MOYERS: And armies of lobbyists, let’s face it.

RICHARD WOLFF: Armies of lobbyists to make sure that the laws get massaged and the rules get adjusted so that they can get around it. That’s why we keep having financial scandal after financial scandal, hearings after hearings. After a while when you keep doing this you realize that even if you get some benefit (and I see your point), from a regulation for a while, it’s only a matter of time. And now that the corporations have gotten really good at getting around it the time for them has been reduced and so we’re back to the question isn’t there a better way than letting them do their thing and coming late to the table with another regulation?

BILL MOYERS: Okay, here’s Martha from Natick, Massachusetts.

MARTHA: I see a perfect storm coming. Capitalism is predicated on unlimited growth, but we live in a finite environment and we seem to have a dysfunctional democracy unable to resolve that contradiction. How do you see climate change and our diminishing natural resources such as fossil fuels and water impacting this crisis in capitalism?

RICHARD WOLFF: Capitalism is a system geared up to doing three things on the part of business: get more profits, grow your company and get a larger market share. Those are the driving bottom line issues. Corporations are successful or not if they succeed in getting these objectives met. That’s what their boards of directors are chosen to do, that’s what their shareholders expect. That’s the way the system works.

If along the way they have to sacrifice either the well-being of their workers or the well-being of the planet or the environmental conditions, they may feel very bad about it, and I know plenty of them who do. But they have no choice. And they will explain if they’re honest that that’s the way this system works. So we have despoiled our environment in a classic way. That’s why we have huge cleanup funds, that why we have so many problems. That’s why we have to impose all kinds of costs on companies now to deal with this problem.

So I’m not very hopeful. I don’t think this is a system that has a place in it for us to seriously deal with the limits to growth, with the need to preserve our environment, to take care of our health as a people because we have a system that pushes forward with a kind of intensity that pushes those issues to the side.

BILL MOYERS: Janet from Woolwich, Maine.

JANET: If you could be president with a cooperative Congress, what are the three most critical things you would do to ensure that we have a healthy economy that is sustainable, particularly in light of a growing aging population? Thank you.

RICHARD WOLFF: I would pick the following three. Number one, solve the unemployment problem. In a sense it’s the most urgent one we have. If the private sector-- and here I’m paraphrasing Franklin Roosevelt in the ‘30s.

If the private sector either cannot or will not provide the work for millions of Americans who want the work, then it’s the job of the government to do it because no one else is. And if I were president, I would follow Roosevelt and immediately create and fill millions, millions-- I’m talking 15 to 20 million jobs in the United States right away.

Number two, I would make it would some have called a “green New Deal,” that is the major thing these people would be doing would be to deal with the environmental crisis that we have, to change the way we use energy. For example (just to give one), to give us the proper mass transportation system that advanced countries in other parts of the world already have that we ought to have.

Millions of people could go to work producing that system and give us a way to move our goods and move our people around the society using less oil and gas with less damage of injury and death the way our car-driven system has, with less pollution of our environment. Here’s a way to benefit people on many scales while we put to work those who want to work with the raw materials and tools that are available.

And the third thing I would do is take a page from Italy, yes, Italy who passed a law in 1985 called the Marcora Law which said the following wonderful thing. If you want employment you have a choice in Italy. You don’t just have to collect your weekly unemployment check the way we do here in the United States, you have an option.

If you get together with ten other unemployed workers and you agree to do the following thing, the government will give you three years of your unemployment payments upfront, right now, in a lump sum. What you have to agree to is that together with at least ten other people you’re going to start your own cooperative business which you all together work.

The feeling in Italy was if you give people a chance to own and operate their own business collectively they’ll be more committed to it, more invested in it, more likely to make a go of it than simply collecting a check. And meanwhile they’ll be producing things and they’ll feel better about themselves. And they’ll have a more productive role in the community. If you give everybody a vested interest in their enterprise, they work harder, they work better, because its theirs. They’re not just working for the man, they’re working for themselves, which is a dream Americans have had, way back from the beginning.

Sixty years ago the United States was less unequal than the capitalism’s in Europe. Now we are more unequal. So yes, it is possible to have capitalism with a much more human face than the ones we have here in the United States and in Britain particularly where we have allowed things to go in a very different direction.

BILL MOYERS: But isn’t Italy in a mess today? We all know about the euro crisis. Those governments are in trouble, austerity’s being imposed throughout the Mediterranean area. We had this explosion with Cyprus-- explosion of fear with CYPRUS being bailed out and the depositors in the banks having to contribute to the cost of bailing out. A tiny island threatens to bring the euro system down again.

RICHARD WOLFF: Absolutely, and that Cyprus story is extremely important. Even though it’s a very small country and people might not pay attention because it is small. Here is the austerity program of raising taxes and cutting government spending, taking a qualitative new step to help bail out a capitalism that hasn’t worked in Europe and that has crippled this little country of Cyprus.

The step taken to try to fix the problem is to literally reach into the private, insured bank accounts of people in the local banks in Cyprus and take money out of it to pay for fixing this broken system. For all working people, and not just in Europe, here in the United States, too, this should be a wakeup call if you still need one that we’re in a situation where the most dire, unexpected, unimaginable steps are being taken to fix a system that keeps resisting being fixed so that we are required now to dip into people’s checking accounts and literally take the money away.

BILL MOYERS: Richard, one of our viewers, Antonia Murrero asks, “Student loan debts are overwhelming me and many others. What does Professor Wolff think would happen to the economy if those debts could be forgiven in personal bankruptcy? Is that even possible?” he asks.

RICHARD WOLFF: Well, the law in the United States specifically prevents you from using bankruptcy to erase your student loans. Bankruptcy does allow you to erase other kinds of debts if you can’t pay them. But the student loan system was set up to prevent that. So students are in a very specially bad place by virtue of this.

We’ve never before done this. In our history as a nation we’ve never before required college students to take anything remotely like this level of debt. We’re still-- we’re requiring students to accumulate huge amounts of debt to get bachelor’s degree, let alone more advanced degrees, at the same time that we offer the graduates the poorest job market and prospects in a generation. That’s a one-two punch.

You have to borrow more than you can afford to face a job which will not allow you to ever pay it off, hence this person’s very intelligent question. How is this going to work? We’ve solved a problem in our society, how to educate the next generation. And let me tell you, this is an important matter. We economists believe that the single most important factor shaping the future of any economy in the world including the United States is the quality and the quantity of the educated trained labor force it produces.

College and universities are where we do that. If we’re crippling an entire generation with debts they cannot support and jobs that will not encourage them to continue in their studies we are as a nation shooting ourselves in the foot going forward. It’s a demonstration of the dysfunctionality of our system.

And then the question comes could we forgive the students’ debts? Well, it’s an interesting idea. But how then do you go to the people who can’t afford their credit card debts or their home debts or their mortgage debts-- they’re all hurting. And the students have a special claim, I give them that. And we need those students, I understand it.

But we have to go at the root of a society which allows unspeakable wealth to accumulate in the hands of a tiny minority while condemning an entire generation of students to a set of burdens. We don’t want them to have those burdens. We need what they can produce for us as a society.

BILL MOYERS: But what does this young woman do who says she’s overwhelmed by her debt?

RICHARD WOLFF: Many students are not aware that they actually have some ways to help them. But the more broad answer I would give you is you need a social movement. If there were masses of students saying, “This is intolerable,” and saying it loudly and saying it publicly, peacefully for sure, but making it clear, then the powers that be would begin to realize that there are millions of students, upward of 15, 16 million people go to colleges and universities in the United States. You’re talking about a very well educated constituency. If they were organized and mobilized you would begin to get the response of dealing with their crises much more effectively than what we have now.

BILL MOYERS: Here’s a synopsis, Richard, of a lot of similar questions that bring us to your book, Democracy at Work: A Cure for Capitalism. A viewer who identifies himself as a longtime fan of Dr. Wolff writes, “You’re passionate about workers self-directed enterprises. Can you explain briefly why you think these are the way to save capitalism? Critics say your alternative may work in theory but not in practice.”

RICHARD WOLFF: My point is that workers ought to be-- all of us who work in an office, a factory or a store - ought to be in the position of participating in the decisions governing that enterprise. And I do that not only because I believe in democracy. And let me say that if you do believe in democracy, it’s always been a mystery to me why that democracy that you believe in doesn’t apply to the place where you work. After all, five out of seven days of every week, most of your adult life, you’re at work.

So if democracy’s an important value it ought to be at your job because that’s where you are most of the time. And democracy at the job means the following. If you have to live with the decisions that are made in a job, what you’re producing, what technology’s being used, what the health conditions of your workplace are, what’s done with the fruits of your labor, literally whether your factor or your office continues, since you have to live with those decisions you ought to participate, the basic idea of democracy.

So I like the idea of cooperative enterprises because it fulfills my value commitment to democracy. Whereas a capitalist enterprise doesn’t because it keeps all the decision making in a tiny minority. We all who go to work have to live with their decisions, but we don’t participate in them, not even to speak of the community that has to live with the decisions.

But the second reason is I see concrete results coming from an enterprise that was run by the workers collectively, and let me give you a few examples. First, most of us believe that if the workers themselves made a decision that they would close the enterprise and move it to China, I don’t think so.

I think that the whole running away of enterprises out of the United States was made possible because the decisions to close enterprises here and to open them in another part of the world where you could get away with paying workers much less was a decision that was very good for the folks who make the decisions, but not for the average workers there.

So if we had decision making made by the workers in place they wouldn’t undo their own jobs and they wouldn’t move. And that would make a very different economic system from the one we have today. Second example, suppose a technology was being considered by the corporate heads who make the decision, the board of directors, and it was one that wasn’t safe, it created too much noise, too much air pollution, despoiled the water, whatever. If it’s a bottom line decision of the typical sort the board of directors and the shareholders seeing profit using that technology might go ahead and use it because it’s profitable and that’s what they’re called upon to do, make profits.

If the workers collectively made the decision knowing that they had to breathe that air, they had to hear that noise, they had to live with that water and so did their spouses and their children and their neighbors, I bet you you’d get a different decision because they would weigh the costs and benefits of that decision differently. And my third example, although I could give you many, Bill, if you want them.

The third example, when it comes to deciding what to do with the profits, suppose instead the workers themselves made that decision democratically, how do we divide the profits?

You think they would give a handful of top officials wild sums of money to buy $40 million apartments on Fifth Avenue while everybody else was having to borrow money to get their kids through school? I don’t think so. I think that people collectively would distribute the wealth more to some than others for all kinds of reasons, but they would do it in a much less unequal way than we have in a capitalist system.

So I challenge all of those who are concerned with a more equal system, with less inequality, to come up with a better way of achieving it than having workers be in a position to make the decisions as to how we divide the profits because that is the single most important determinant of the inequality of income in our society.

BILL MOYERS: But how do you answer this viewer? “In 1994 when United Airlines was on the brink of financial collapse a deal was made creating the biggest employee-owned company in the US. In 2002 the airline filed for bankruptcy.”

RICHARD WOLFF: My answer is the following and it’s very important. For workers to own something is one thing. For workers to become the directors of their own enterprise is something else. Worker ownership means for example, and we have lots of examples both in the United States and around the world, that the workers become in a sense shareholders. They are the technical owners.

But if the workers who become owners, and I’m not against that, but if the workers who become owners don’t change the way the enterprise is operated it remains a capitalist enterprise. It still has a board of directors, a handful of people who make all the decisions. It’s true that the workers may vote for who those people are, but they’ve left the structure of the enterprise in the old form, hierarchical, top-down. That’s what was done in United Airlines. I was involved in that. I actually know.

BILL MOYERS: How so?

RICHARD WOLFF: They called me in at a couple points to participate in some of the discussions, the International Association of Machinists, which was the union that was part of that. So they left the old capitalist structure, they weren’t willing to go beyond saying, “We, the workers, become owners, but we leave the running of the enterprise, the directing of it, the day to day decisions in the old form made by the old experts.” Part of a movement away from capitalism to a cooperative enterprise requires that the people of the United States stop believing that the folks at the top have some magical entitlement to give them that position.

BILL MOYERS: I think most of them have, if journalism and the social science surveys are reporting what’s actually going on out there.

RICHARD WOLFF: Yeah, and I think that there has to be a change. I think most Americans have to recognize that the folks who run our enterprises, they had to learn how to do that. And we can all learn how to do that. It’s the old argument in a sense that comes out of our history.

BILL MOYERS: Here’s a viewer named Jeff chiming in. “Dr. Wolff, can you please give a concrete, not academic or theoretical explanation, of how you would apply your employee-run business model to a McDonald’s, Wal-Mart, a hospital or JPMorgan Chase?”

RICHARD WOLFF: Well, the answer is best given not as a hypothetical but to describe an enterprise which is large like all of those are, which has done this.

BILL MOYERS: There’s a film called SHIFT CHANGE, about the cooperative efforts. And we’ll provide a link to that.

RICHARD WOLFF: Well, the example I’m going to give is a company in Spain. It’s called Mondragon, the Mondragon Cooperative Corporation. And a little history may interest folks. It was started in the middle of the 1950s by a Catholic priest in the north of Spain in the Basque area just south of the Pyrenees Mountains.

It was a time of terrible privation in Spain after the World War II and the Spanish Civil War. There was terrible unemployment in this area and the Catholic priest decided that one way to deal with unemployment was not to wait for a capitalist employer to come in and hire people but to set up cooperatives. And he began with six parishioners in his Roman Catholic church to start a co-op.

Okay, this is 1956. Let’s fast forward to 2013. That corporation now has over 100,000 employees. It has been a success story of gargantuan proportions. It is a family of co-ops, within this large corporation. In most of these co-ops the workers make the decisions of how this cooperative works.

So let me give you an idea of how successful they’ve been. They partner with Microsoft and General Motors in their research labs because Microsoft and General Motors want to tap into their creative way of running a business. They have a rule that nobody can get more than six times what the lowest paid worker in an enterprise gets.

The typical situation in a major American corporation is that the top executives gets 300 or 400 times what their lowest paid worker does. So they have solved the equality problem in a dramatic way for 120, roughly, thousand people. There’s a concrete example of how you can make a cooperative democratically run enterprise successful, growing and becoming a powerful community force.

There is Arizmendi, the name of that priest in Spain, there’s the Arizmendi Bakeries, six of them in the Bay Area that are all run as cooperatives. And they run it as a worker-directed enterprise. They’ve been very successful. Their commitment, number one, is not profit. Their commitment, number one, is not growth. Their commitment, number one, is to their people.

BILL MOYERS: Which brings me to a question from another viewer. “How do you move to this alternative you’re talking about and writing about without strong unions? Union membership is down to its lowest level since 1936 when Franklin Roosevelt was president. And can you do this without increased strength among unions?”

RICHARD WOLFF: A union in its negotiations with an employer currently is limited in most cases to asking for better wages, better working conditions. Imagine with me for a moment what it would mean if the unions developed a new strategy. Let’s call it a two-track strategy.

On the one hand you continue bargaining with your workers for better conditions from your employer. But on the other hand you do something else. You begin to train workers to become able to run their own enterprises and to have a whole new bargaining chip when you confront an employer. Many unions over the last 30 years have been confronted by a company that basically comes and says the following. “We’re thinking of leaving Cincinnati, Sheboygan, Detroit, whatever. We need to get some concessions from you.

“We won’t leave if you give us wage give backs, lower benefits, all the usual things, or else we’ll leave.” The union doesn’t know what to do, is terrified, doesn’t want to call the bluff because not sure it is a bluff, et cetera, et cetera, so eventually the union caves. That has been the history over and over again.

Imagine a union that had been able to say to these folks, “Okay, if you leave rather than coming to a reasonable accommodation with us, we are going to set up an enterprise right here. The factory you leave we will occupy. The jobs you don’t pay us to do we will do for ourselves. And you will be located in China bringing goods back here, but we’ll continue to produce goods here and let’s see which goods the American working people will buy.”

BILL MOYERS: But they will need capital to do that.

RICHARD WOLFF: Yes. And the question is where would the capital come from?

BILL MOYERS: The question is where will the capital come from?

RICHARD WOLFF: Good. The answer is, where the capital come from, there are several possibilities. The first possibility is the United States government. The United States government has the money, needs to do something for our unemployment problem and here’s a way to do it because as the Marcora Law in Italy that I mentioned earlier illustrates there’s a governmental and a social interest in doing this. This is a better way to solve the unemployment problem than giving people a dole for months or years at a time during which time they lose their job connections, they often lose their skills.

This is a much better solution, giving them the startup money to begin small, medium size enterprises that they will have a great interest in making successful because it’s their future, it’s their wellbeing that’s at stake and it’s their collectively owned and operated enterprise.

Well, why in the world don’t we have a cooperative business administration providing startup money and technical help so that these kinds of enterprise, particularly helping unemployed people, could begin not only to help them and to help our economy but again to provide that freedom of choice for Americans so we can all see how these enterprises work and make a collective decision whether we’d rather have an economy more of them than of the old capitalist type. And again I think that the capitalists would be surprised by how many of us would choose that other route. And that would be a way to get it going.

BILL MOYERS: This is all very provocative and very controversial. And very imaginative. We’ll have you back at this table before the season is over. But in the meantime I look forward to our live chat on BillMoyers.com this coming Tuesday at 1:00pm Eastern Time.

RICHARD WOLFF: Good. I look forward to it as well.

SOURCE

---

California Just Legalized Public Banks. Will the Rest of the Nation Follow Suit?
The new law promises to take taxpayer money back from Wall Street and reinvest it in communities.

By Ananya Garg
Yes Magazine
October 3, 2019

The Standing Rock movement in 2016 brought together Indigenous activists from across the nation to fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline. One of the demands of this movement included divestment from Wells Fargo, a bank that was funding development of the pipeline. This brought into the spotlight one of the biggest issues concerning economic justice in the United States: big banks. More specifically, big for-profit banks that the government uses to invest public money into Wall Street, rather than local communities. Some of those investments include the fossil fuel industry, private prisons, immigrant detention centers, and more.

The divestment movement is mostly about getting those government investmentspublic employee pension funds, for exampleחout of the big banks. The question then becomes where to put them. Some economic justice activists say the answer is public banking.

In September, the California State Legislature passed Assembly Bill 857, a law that would allow a regulatory framework for public banking in the state. This would allow the establishment of banks that hold the governments money and include socially responsible charters, anti-corruption clauses, transparency, a board that includes community development professionals, and prohibitions on retail locations and on competing with community banks and credit unions. On Oct. 2, Gov. Gavin Newsom SIGNED IT INTO LAW. Newsom has been a supporter of public banking since his 2018 campaign. ItҒs expected to take one or two years, at least, to set up a charter for such a bank.

The only public bank in the contiguous United States today is in North Dakota. This public bank is not a new phenomenon; it was established during a populist movement in 1919. The credit system during the time was not set up in a way that supported farmers, so for them to be able to receive farming loans, the state created what is now known as the Bank of North Dakota.

“North Dakota was the only state that escaped the credit crisis,” says Ellen Brown, founder and president of the Public Banking Institute. “It never went in the red, [had] the lowest unemployment rate in the country, the lowest foreclosure rate at that time.”

According to THE BANK’S 2018 ANNUAL REPORT, it recorded its 15th consecutive year of record profit in 2018, with $159 million in income and $7 billion in assets. It maintains an investment portfolio of $1.9 billion.

Opponents of public banking have said that public banks are too risky and could waste taxpayer dollars. That was the position of the Los Angeles Times editorial board AGAINST A 2018 PIBLIC INITIATIVE that would have allowed public banking charters in that city. (Voters later rejected the measure.) The Times also said public banks would compete with smaller private banks.

But the Bank of North Dakota, widely seen as a model for successful public banks, only competes with Wall Street as a repository of government funds. It instead partners with local private banks when small businesses need big loans, and steps in to secure the larger loans.

At the time of the Standing Rock protests and the clamor for divestment, many individuals were able to switch their personal accounts to nonprofit credit unions. But larger entities, such as governments, have fewer options. While credit unions are an excellent alternative to privately owned banks for individual accounts, they don’t have the capacity to handle the large government accounts of cities and states. To begin, credit unions are owned by their members, while public banks are owned by a government. Credit unions also have a less capital to issue loans.

For example, in February 2017, the Seattle City Council voted to divest the citys banking services from Wells Fargo because of its ties with the Dakota Access Pipeline, but in the end was unable to find an alternative that could process about $3 billion a year in government revenue. Three months later, the city renewed its banking relationship with Wells Fargo.

While few historical examples of public banking exist, one stands out. The FreedmanҒs Savings Bank was originally founded for freed former slaves and African American veterans to have a place to build their savings. The Oxford African American Studies Center writes that the bank served its purpose for a short time, but then moved its headquarters from New York to Washington, D.C. After a change in leadership and several dubious investments, the Freedmans Bank went into debt and was forced to shut down.

Debbie Notkin, who works with the California Public Banking Alliance, says that by law, all corporations, which includes private banks, are legally obligated to maximize profit. Public banks are not held to this expectation, however, and are instead mandated to serve their communities.

Public banks are run like nonprofits in that they have boards made up of members of the community. Those board members are people with clear credit and experience in business. While this raises the question about who might end up on these boards, Notkin says that advocates like her are :committed to wide representation,” uplifting marginalized voices, and staying true to their values, such as fighting against fossil fuels and Wall Street.

Therefore, Notkin says, community investments have unlimited possibilities, including affordable housing, saving people from foreclosure, making student loans more affordable, and creating more infrastructure to defend against the effects of climate change, such as more dikes and dams for coastal areas.

The Public Banking Institute;s Ellen Brown has been referred to as the godmother of the public banking movement. She is the author of The Public Bank Solution: From Austerity to Prosperity and runs The Web of Debt blog. She sees the Bank of North Dakota as a model for public banking systems across the nation.

Public funds are currently invested in Wall Street banks and deposited in Wall Street banks. ItӒs not the government that keeps our money, its private banks,Ҕ Brown says. Furthermore, these public funds are not used to improve communities. For example, many large private banks might be more interested in putting $5 billion into a Wall Street investment bank and reaping the profits from that arrangement, rather than making a $50,000 loan to a local business. Private banks often choose Wall Street, because it is where they can maximize their returns on investments. Connections to their local communities arent a consideration.

The community implications of public banking could be huge.

Los Angeles-based public banking advocate Trinity Tran is the co-founder and lead organizer for three volunteer groups that support public banking in Los Angeles: Public Bank LA, Revolution LA, and Divest LA.

“Our current banking model is based on extraction,” she says. She also spoke on the Bank of North Dakota, saying that it has existed for 100 years, and it is currently in its 15th consecutive year of profit even though it is not mandated to be profitable, but to serve the community.

Sushil Jacob, a senior staff attorney for economic justice with the LawyersԒ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area, was instrumental in drafting the bill Gov. Newsom just signed.

Jacob says that while it is important to pressure the federal government, the real changes are going to take place at the state and local level, which is where public banks come into play. Theyll be necessary to provide funding for local projects as the economy transforms from one based on extractive industries to one that supports democracy, the environment, and community well-being, especially in low-income communities of color and other marginalized groups.

In addition to supporting that transformation to what is called the Just Transition framework, public banking would also be necessary to provide capital for projects under the proposed Green New Deal.

“By creating a mechanism in which cities and counties can divest from their current banks and put them into new banks, and have those banks be tasked with only lending to things that are going to be a part of the new economy, that creates a local financing mechanism for a just transition,” Jacob said.

SOURCE

SOLUTIONS TO SAVE OUR NATION

Posted by Elvis on 10/11/19 •
Section Revelations • Section American Solidarity
View (0) comment(s) or add a new one
Printable viewLink to this article
Home
Page 1 of 640 pages  1 2 3 >  Last »

Statistics

Total page hits 9460388
Page rendered in 4.7313 seconds
41 queries executed
Debug mode is off
Total Entries: 3198
Total Comments: 337
Most Recent Entry: 10/13/2019 10:49 am
Most Recent Comment on: 01/02/2016 09:13 pm
Total Logged in members: 0
Total guests: 10
Total anonymous users: 0
The most visitors ever was 114 on 10/26/2017 04:23 am


Email Us

Home

Members:
Login | Register
Resumes | Members

In memory of the layed off workers of AT&T

Today's Diversion

Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding. -- Albert Einstein

Search


Advanced Search

Sections

Calendar

October 2019
S M T W T F S
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31    

Must Read

Most recent entries

RSS Feeds

Today's News

ARS Technica

External Links

Elvis Picks

BLS Pages

Favorites

All Posts

Archives

RSS


Creative Commons License


Support Bloggers' Rights